06 - US East Coast Southbound

Ready to go?

For the past weeks we have been glued to the weather report, first observing patterns and now planning our departure from the US to the Caribbean. Hopefully, there's a window opening soon and we hope to jump through it. Here is a synopsis of our position (figuratively): we want to get to Panama as quickly as possible, making short pit stops only as necessary in the Bahamas and Jamaica. And we have to get to Panama soon in order to enjoy the San Blas islands and other Panama highlights without rushing straight through the canal.

Sailing again!

Slipped our lines at Beaufort Docks yesterday afternoon and are now past Cape Fear, about 30 nm offshore. Recent weather development has played havoc with our plan to depart Beaufort last weekend for a Gulf Stream crossing (more on that in a separate post...). Now it looks that we will leave from Charleston Friday afternoon or Saturday morning and head first East and then South towards the Caribbean. A bumpy ride last night between SE swell and NE wind chop but now seas seem to be sorting themelves out a bit. All is well aboard - stay tuned...

An unexpectedly nice sail...

After a windy night at anchor we had a very nice sail today, broad reaching in 20kn N winds across the Albermarle Sound and down the first part of the Aligator River (went for a brief dip despite the threatening name ;-). Watching development of the long-term weather outlook with great suspense, still hoping for a 05/06NOV departure from Beaufort towards the Caribbean.... stay tuned...

Re-tracing our steps

We left Hampton at day break yesterday (Sunday) morning and started our way south towards Beaufort, NC, along the ICW. When we passed Norfolk two hours later it really felt like crossing our own wake from three years ago. At that time we had parted ways with Arearea and went out of the Chesapeake for a 3- day off-shore sail sail up to Cape Cod and then on to Maine. Coming down this year we finally stopped at all the places we missed in 2008 when rushing north, a very different experience this time...

Namani Airborne ...

... almost. We did get to play with our new Parasailor along the way, an innovative spinnaker-type sail with a paraglider wing integrated into the sail. It flies in an amazingly stable way. In addition, Nicky enjoys his new comfort-seat on the foredeck (aka the Parasailor bag before and after hoisting):

Addendum...

... just noticed that the previous post was truncated at the end. What we meant to say was: After all this time at a town mooring in Annapolis it feels as if we have to get our sea legs back again. We promptly ran aground on our way to the Hudson Creek anchorage in a spot where the chart shows plenty of water (see picture above; soundings in feet - we draw six of them). Seems as if there is not only the concept of true and apparent wind, but also something like "true and apparent depth"...

At Anchor Again

After 2 1/2 weeks (which included a 5-day trip back to Germany for Nicky and Markus to see Oma and Opa) we finally did say good bye to Annapolis again. We started heading further south, planning to meet our friends from Boundless in Virginia tomorrow or on Sunday and then proceed towards Norfolk.

The ice is melting...

We legged it from Cape May and after a wet, cold and bumpy but fast sail up the Delaware Bay, we went through the Chesapeake-Delaware Channel and - with two over night stops en route - arrived in Annapolis yesterday afternoon. Yesterday started out slow and windless but then the forecasted gusty NW @20kn filled in and we had a beautiful sail for the last stretch to Annapolis. We love it here - tucked away at a town mooring with lots of boats and green lawns around, plus easy accessibility to town and the boat show that will start on Thursday.

Arrival in Cape May - Drenched but happy

We slipped our mooring at the 79th St Boat Basin at noon on Wednesday, sailed out under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and "turned right" towards Cape May where we arrived Thursday afternoon. After a very bumpy ride out of New York with wind against tide things settled down a bit once we were south of Sandy Hook. We had a nice close hauled sail through the night but then got drenched in a series of showers and thunderstorms that accompanied a passing cold front on Thursday morning.

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